By Makoy Kuong Thong
October 23, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudanese -American raised hip hop artist Jay K shares his opinions about the Dec 15 conflict that occurred in juba and led the country into civil war. Jay K decried how this war devastated the efforts to develop the country that was destroyed during the Sudan North-South conflict. During an interview with him, Jay K gives an experience which he had gone through at his childhood in a conflicted area then Sudan in relations to the current civil war in South Sudan.
(Q) When were you born and where?
(A) I was born in 1989 in Leer and in 1997 at the age of 8 my mother took me and my siblings to Khartoum after Leer being burnt down by pro-Khartoum militias. The situation at that time was horrible because people could be killed and others were left without shelters and food but we managed to reach to Khartoum through difficult journey.
(Q) How was life in Khartoum after leaving your home town in Bentiu?
(A) It was not fair because South Sudanese at that time used to be sheltered under big building where the Arabs throw their trench yet the country belonged to all Sudanese.
(Q)You seem to have more Western cultures, which particular country in the West did you go to?
(A) I went to United State at the end of 2002 when I was 12 going to 13years and settled there for ten years as a permanent residence, America was good country because their government do provided us with basic services such as shelters, food, education, health care for free and also giving jobs latter compared to Sudan government that treated us as slaves.
(Q)America is a good country why did u come back to Africa?
(A) I came to Africa because it’s my mother land and I love it the reason we went to U.S in the first place was because the war that was taking place in Sudan my mom didn’t like the way we as South Sudanese were being treated by the Northerners so when she got the chance to get us out of the country and we took off. After our country had its independence I through it was a big blessing so I came back to promote my music locally.
(Q) How did you reach to U.S because at that time Sudan government bared going abroad and your mother I believed had no job to afford travel versa?
(A) It was hard to get out of the country but my uncle Peter Thiep was already in the united state so he uses to provide us with money for food and my mom used to get money out of distilled alcohol and she saved up enough for us to get the train to Egypt. When we got to Egypt my uncle sends us a visa just to try if it will work so we did that and just like that we were accepted.
(Q)Coming back to the current situation in South Sudan, how do you feel about the ongoing conflict in the country?
(A) About the conflict I would say that I am very disappointed. I mean we fought for over 21 years and we finally had our independence but not more than 2 years latter we are now turning to kill one another so what did we fight for all those years?. I still don’t believe it had really happened it was nothing that I expected at all. I was looking forward to a one united south Sudanese and putting our hands together, develop our country and promote unity not killing people based on tribes. What had happened in juba should not have been done by someone or government who in his right mind I think lack of education was the causes of the conflict maybe if we had leaders who are well educated and understand the importance of a human being, innocent citizens would not been killed because of their tribe.
(Q)What advice can you give to South Sudanese leaders?
(A) I can only tell them that killing innocent people just because of the tribe they come from is not the right solution to your political Issues. If u have personal issue with any politician or u fear that they might taken over your position or maybe they have better quality to lead then do not take it on the people of his/her tribe. The people you killed could be the one who wanted you in power so instead of killing them you should have protected them.
(Q)You are a musician for how long have u been doing music?
(A) I have been doing music for 8 years and I have been in love with it since I was 12 years and started my first recoding when I was 16 in United State of America.
(Q) What motivated you to do music?
(A) I grow up listening to music my mother used to sing traditional songs in Nuer language at weddings, I used to watch her singing and saw how people showed her love so I always wanted that power. But what motivate me the most is the fact that I can educate and change people life’s just through three minutes song. Having the power of getting a group of an individual coming together and listen to what I have to say is what motivates me to come up with good music.
(Q)What do you talk about in your music and what message have you been passing through your songs?
(A) In my music I sing about love and I also educated people about things I see around me, for example if a government do something wrong I express my feeling and pass the message through songs. I also advice the government through songs if there is something I feel they should do for the public I put it in a song hoping they will learn from it.
(Q)Do you have any song about the current conflict in South Sudan?
(A)Yes I have two songs about the conflict. I have one call (Disappointed) which is based on how disappointed I was about the tribal killing in juba. I was disappointed that my so call leaders have taken my young nation back to the war just because of their political interest. I personally love justice, equality, and freedom so I have a song call (freedom fighters.) I fight for freedom to dress myself the way I want, be friend with who I want, sing the music that I love, fall in love with any girl regardless of the tribe she comes from. I love freedom I am a freedom fighter.
(Q) Jay kay where can audiences get your music?
(A) They can get my music on (reverbnation.com just by typing jay kay) they can look me up on (youtube.com by typing jaykoung1) even (facebook.com generol jay
In a conclusion, Jay K who is a Hip hop artist will have a live show on Friday 31 Oct 2014 at Shark@ttck opposite to Supper stare restaurant at Bunga Soya area in Kampala Uganda.
The artist was interviewed by Makoy Kuong Thong and he can be reach @firstname.lastname@example.org